The culmination of a special three-year R&D project, Wharfedale’s new Elysian flagship speakers have been unveiled – taking their name from ‘Elysian’, meaning blissful.
Two Elysian loudspeakers have been created: a large standmount model called Elysian 2 (£4,500 per pair) and a floorstanding speaker named Elysian 4 (£6,500 per pair). Both speakers were developed concurrently with the EVO4 Series, which launched towards the end of 2019 and sit immediately below Elysian in Wharfedale’s new hierarchy.
Elysian and EVO4 share many design elements, having benefited from the same R&D process as part of a unified project. The core speakers in both ranges are three-way designs, sporting an unusual driver array including an Air Motion Transformer (AMT) high-frequency unit.
The development of this AMT unit was a key part of the Elysian/EVO4 project. The Elysian AMT is larger and of higher specification than the one used in the EVO4 Series, featuring an ultra-lightweight diaphragm material called PET and an acoustically damped rear chamber.
Many of these elements were trickled down, remodelled and engineered in more affordable form to create the EVO4 Series, enabling the speakers in this range to deliver value for money.
The drivers’ output is combined via a crossover network, fine-tuned over hundreds of hours of listening tests to ensure a seamless blend between the drive units. Of particular note is the phase consistency across the driver output, permitting a wide range of seating positions and encouraging the power response to be linear throughout the listening room.
One key aspect is the wide baffle, finished with radiused edges to smooth the flow of sonic energy around the cabinet. Speaking about the development of Elysian, Wharfedale’s Director of Acoustic Design, Peter Comeau, says: “Our aim for the Elysian/EVO4 project was to deliver a new flagship for Wharfedale (Elysian) whilst creating design elements that could be trickled down to a more affordable, mid-range series (EVO4). While we are justly proud of the value for money offered by the EVO4 Series, the two Elysian models represent the pinnacle of our achievements – loudspeakers that deliver an exceptional high-end performance yet still cost much less than many of the models with which they compete.”
The Wharfedale Elysian 2 and Elysian 4 are available in the UK from this month. RRPs are £4,500 per pair (£4,900 with matching stands) and £6,500 per pair respectively. Finish options are walnut, black or white, hand-finished in high-gloss piano lacquer.